Although no one has actually counted them all, it is estimated that about 3.04 trillion trees are covering the planet’s surface now. Every year though, about 10 billion trees are lost.
Each year, somewhere in the region of 15 billion trees are felled across the world, but only 5 billion are planted to replace them. While this loss of trees is concerning, and deforestation is a serious problem for the climate, sometimes it is necessary to chop trees down.
When trees start dying they can start to present a hazard, especially to property and people. Dead trees can topple during heavy storms, and high winds can see limbs fall off. Therefore, tree removal companies are needed to take action, but where does all the wood go after the tree is chopped down?
What happens to wood once a tree is felled?
Once a tree has been chopped down, it will then be cut into pieces to make removal easier. The stump will remain in the ground, and this will need to be ground down or removed.
One family-owned business specializing in tree removal was asked what happens to the wood once it has been removed from a garden, and the answers are below.
Turned into mulch
By chopping up the limbs and other parts of trees, mulch can be made. Typically, a dying tree or one that has gone down in a storm will be put through a grinder, and mulch created which can be used in gardens to help plants grow.
Similarly, wood chippings can be made from trees that have been felled. These are often used in gardens to create paths, added to compost, or used in much the same way that mulch is.
Milled for lumber
Just because your tree was dying or damaged, it doesn’t mean that the wood isn’t still useful. When you carry out your next DIY wood projects for home improvement, you could use your own lumber.
Chopped-down trees can be cut, dried, and turned into lumber at a sawmill. Although it takes some time for the wood to dry before it can be used, this is a very common use for chopped-down trees.
Sometimes trees that have been chopped down simply get turned into firewood. A chopped-down adult tree will provide a lot of firewood. But, when you chop down trees you can lose some of your privacy. This can be replaced by planting fast-growing trees such as hybrid poplars.
Every year, countless tonnes of waste are sent to landfills, much of it only to spend centuries slowly degrading. But, green landfills also exist for biodegradable organic waste.
Green waste accounts for about 47 kg per capita across the world, and this can be turned into compost, and reused as mulch or even as a way of enriching the soil.
Trees can be used to create wood biomass, which is a renewable green energy source. The wood from your tree can be turned into pellets, or even converted into liquid fuel through certain processes.
What can you do with wood after your tree is chopped down?
Planting trees adds value to a property, but dead or damaged ones are simply an eyesore. Storm-damaged trees can also represent a serious danger so they need to either be repaired, or chopped down.
If you don’t want a tree removal company taking away your wood, you could find some interesting uses yourself instead. Here are a few simple ideas for that tree that’s currently lying across your backyard in pieces.
Introduce the wood to the landscape
You can use parts of your tree to add natural elements to your landscaping. For instance, you can make carvings, use parts of the tree to create a path, or make your own chippings as mentioned previously.
Use the wood for furniture
You don’t need to be a skilled carpenter to make basic garden furniture. You can make stumps by cutting up the trunk of the tree. Then you can treat them, and use them as seating in the backyard.
Create alternatives to paving slabs
Instead of using concrete pavers or slabs, cut discs from the limbs and trunk of the tree to create paths and a natural-looking patio area.
Make flower planters
If you are DIY oriented and have the tools, you could hollow out pieces of the tree to create natural flower planters for your garden too.
Unless a tree is completely rotten, there is normally some way the wood can be used instead of just being dumped. Wood is completely biodegradable as long as it hasn’t been treated, so at the very worst, your tree can become compost or mulch.
But, you could make yourself some simple garden furniture, or create artwork by painting and sculpting pieces for your backyard. If none of these options appeal, then you can simply stay warm in winter by using logs for firewood.